When most people think of Reno and the Northern Nevada area, they simply write it off as a miniature Las Vegas — hot, dry, full of gambling, and probably a place you’d rather not live. Many movies and other forms of entertainment enjoy poking fun at Reno, making it out as a place consisting entirely of grimy casinos and hotels and crime. However, this is a very limited view of the place.
Starting with the weather, though the summers in Reno are unbearably hot (though nothing compared to Vegas), the rest of the year is really quite cold. Many people think that because Reno is a desert, it must be horribly hot year round, failing to account that desserts are also cold. The television show Reno-911 adds to this illusion, featuring palm trees in the shots of the surroundings, when, in reality, it isn’t warm enough for these tropical trees to even survive year long. Reno and the Northern Nevada area are full of different weather types, ranging from changes in season to changes in the day. You’ll often here native Renoites referring to their home with the saying: “If you don’t like the weather, just wait ten minutes.” As for the dryness, well, some things are true.
There are many reasons to come visit Reno other than playing the slots and gambling away all your hard-earned money. The cold that is present for much of the year allows for there to be quite a bounty of snow that sticks, especially up in the mountains. Mt. Rose is the perfect destination for skiers and snowboarders alike, providing soft snow and large inclines that will get your heart beating with a sense of exhilaration. The mountain is easily accessible, just outside of Reno.
Not too big on skiing? Well, there are other attractions of the Reno/ Northern Nevada area that might grab your attention. One well-known feature is Lake Tahoe. The lake is pure and beautiful, shared by Nevada and California. There are many activities to do here, such as swimming, hiking along through the gorgeous trees and hills, and renting kayaks and other equipment for the family to enjoy. Another great location located just outside Reno is Virginia City. Built during the gold rush of the 1800s, Virginia City is a boomtown that arose with the discovery of the famous Comstock Load. A great destination for the entire family, this old-fashioned town provides a unique experience of the Old West, with saloons, taffy shops, a historical museum and train ride experience, old-fashioned dining, and shops with the type of quirky personality not found many places else.
Lastly, to address the issue of community. The propaganda that creates the image of a crime-filled area full of prostitutes and hicks is a vast exaggeration. While some of those people and areas may exist, the vast majority is much different, full of families and incredibly nice and beautiful areas. The people of Reno are all very different; all races and cultures are represented in large portions, especially Hispanics, providing a great variety of Mexican food that put franchises such as Taco Bell to shame. This diverse community allows for Northern Nevada to take on its own distinctive personality that provides a great family atmosphere.
So, if you find yourself coming to the Reno area anytime soon, be open-minded and positive about what you might find. There are many great activities and experiences that are sure to catch your interest. You’ll find that the people will be friendly and cordial, so long as you remember one important thing: it’s Nev-A-da, not Nev-AH-da.
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